Thursday, May 12, 2016

Drawing Hair

I've been asked how I draw hair, so here's a little demo on where I begin and it's pretty much the same technique all the way down to the ends. For this portrait done in graphite, I used a 4B pencil.

I like to leave the hair for last since it's the most relaxing part of portrait drawing. You don't have to focus on the likeness or proportions so much; just let go and let the pencil guide you.

Let me know what you think.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Purple Rain: Portrait of a Prince

Here is my graphite portrait of Prince with some purple drops for Paint Party Friday and as a tribute to the highly-talented Artist. We lost a brilliant entertainer yesterday.

I believe what connects us to musicians we've never met before is their ability to comfort us with sounds and lyrics that speak to our souls; their songs can take us back to some of the most significant moments in our lives and become a part of those moments.

I had my first romantic relationship in the early 80s, experienced true heartache in the mid 80s and fell in love with my husband in 1989. Prince's music was a part of it all.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Drawing Hair with "Shawna"

This piece is titled, "Shawna," and you will see this look and pose a lot as I begin a series of portraits focusing on hair.

Drawing hair is like therapy or meditation and adding shadows to the hair is like sprinkling salt and pepper on your food; you can't get it wrong, but if you overdo it, it won't be any good.

Less is more.

Basically, I begin with a light pressure half-way up from the eyes (the top of the head) and depending on what hairstyle I want for the subject, I make short or long down strokes. It can be very relaxing, especially while drawing to music.

Less is more, but when you have the basic look you want, darkening areas of the hair where there's no light is a must for contrast and realism. Again, wherever you feel you want the shadows to fall is the right place and remember, no overkill.

Try it. 

Grab some paper, your favorite colored pencil, and draw and oval, two small circles in the center (with a horizontal, downward-curved line above each circle) for the eyes, two small, colored ovals for nostrils and a light line for the mouth. You can work on the details of the face later. Using your favorite colored pencil and remembering to use a light pressure, focus on the hair.

Dream. Meditate. Relax. Share your work with me (

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Eyes WITH a Face

Last year I start a series of portraits inspired by 80s music and "Eyes Without a Face" was one of them. The subject, created from imagination, was done in mostly graphite with a touch of light green colored pencil.

This year I added more colored pencil and a couple of features and here's the result:

She could be friends with one of Margaret Keane's creations.

Stay tuned for what happens next year. She may smile, wink...grow a torso? ;)

Friday, April 8, 2016

Feliz Friday with Mr. Newman

My Paint Party Friday portrait is focusing on the eyes and what better subject to do that with than Old Hollywood's own, Paul Newman. Of course, there's also Bette Davis, who I've drawn in graphite.

One thing about Bette Davis, as famous as her eyes were, no one seems to know their true color. I've seen photos where they appear to be deep blue and others where they look green or even hazel. Most pics show her with blue, so when I work on female eyes, she'll be the subject and I'll use lápices azules with a bit of blanco to make them pop out. 

It's a beautiful, 71-degrees out here in Tampa, and I'm off to enjoy the blue skies and sunshine!

Happy Weekend to YOU!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Less is More

The above sketch may or may not look like a beautiful Spanish actress, but it goes to show that "Menos es Más," or in English, less is more, more or less. I didn't complete the body but focused on the form and of course, the face, and I don't believe she needs more to be effective.

I had a conversation about art with a few of the hockey parents the other night and one of the moms wanted to know why I don't sketch more nude men. I looked around the room and told her, "because there aren't that many interesting subjects to choose from." True.

I don't sketch a lot of nudes unless I'm in a figure drawing group with a life model, and even then, I get a little disappointed when male models show up because their bodies don't inspire me. I prefer sketching curves and hair and all that good stuff, like you see in the above portrait, and I'd rather add a little here and there for the body than to go all out from head to toe.

Subtle nudity is fine, otherwise it's all about la cara...for me, anyway...and speaking of cara, I'm opening up an Italian in 10 Min. a Day book I bought a while back because I need to cross a few more things off my bucket list this year. That and because Positano, Italy, is calling my name.

Buona giornata, mie belle persone! 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Barbra, 1972

"Barbra, 1972" is my PPF sketch for this week. I was thinking of adding color but decided to keep her B & W because it's young Barbra, when her hair was long and her eyeliner was thick. That and because I wanted to work in graphite again.

"Funny Girl" was the first movie I saw in a movie theater and I remember loving the big screen, the music, and the personality of the lead character. I didn't know much English at the time and I had no idea who Streisand was, but at four or five years old, I was entertained for 2 ½ hours and I didn't want the film to end.

Barbra has it all...exceptional talent, wit, humor, charm, a rare beauty. I'll leave you with one of her quotes that makes a lot of sense:

"I guess if you have an original take on life, or something about you is original, you don't have to study people who came before you. You don't have to mimic anybody. You just have a gut feeling inside, an instinct that tells you what's right for you and you can't do it any other way." ~ Barbra Streisand

Basically, keep doing what you do because nobody does it better.

Wishing you a Wonderful Good Friday and a Happy Easter Weekend! ♥

PS - Do you remember the first movie YOU ever saw? Please share.